Picture of PVC Bow
My homemade PVC bow! Shoot Practice arrows or homemade arrows through boxes! Cost less than $5 !!! .............DISCLAIMER: MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS A WEAPON. DO NOT SHOOT AT ANYTHING FRAGIAL OR ANYONE. IF ANY PROBLEM OR DESTRUCTION IS CAUSED BY THIS, I CLAIM NO RESPONSIBILITY.



4 ft. of 1/2in. PVC (ALSO HAD ALOT OF THIS)
duct tape
elastic string( i used this cause i have alot of it! use nylon its better!!)
1 panel nail
Practice arrows'

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Kiteman7 years ago
This isn't as good as it looks. As Handsome-Ryan said, PVC splinters. In this case, the shards would come out of the front of the bow, into the palm of your hand. PVC is invisible to X-ray imaging, so they would require surgery just to check if there are any in your hand. If you want to make a cheap play bow, use wood or plywood. If you seriously want to practice your archery skills, then either buy a proper bow, or learn how to make your own proper bow.

what about reinforcing the PVC by doubling it up or use schedule 80 pipe, and inserting a fiberglass rod?

ok then mr. obvios since you know everything how about you go buy a "proper" bow and shoot yourself in the foot loser
killall117 i think you should do it yourself kite heil
You've been here what, one day?

Little advice: do a bit of checking before you shoot your mouth off and make yourself look even sillier.

Some of us use proper bows on a regular basis.

(Of course, some of us have the sense not to start our first day on a major site by posting insults instead of useful material.)
That was an unnecessary remark. not appreciated. and some people like myself like doing dangerous things, improvising, and trying new things like pvc bows and other pvc weapons.
If you bothered to check who the remark was addressed to, and what it was in reply to, then you would see it was entirely necessary.

You want to make a PVC bow? Feel free, no skin off my nose.

Although it could easily be a lot of skin, tendons, severed blood vessels and nerve damage off your hand when it splinters under tension.
There is tape around where your hand will be resting you know...
So then it splinters further up and lacerates your forearm...
and? i branded myself yesterday, i got over it, if some thing blew up in my hand, I'd get over it, so come on and get a life!!!
I can't help wondering, with an attitude like that, will you have a life this time next year?
Seriously guys, are you still in middle-school? Kiteman, stop being a dumbass. you said what needed to be said the first time, you are just defeating your purpose by continuing to smart off. i've been shooting "propper bows" literaly all my life, and made improper ones for a better part of my childhood it as well, so let me clear something up: plywood = no. it will probably work once or twice, but once you start pulling the layers apart by bending it, it will loose its strength and/or break. also, pvc will work fine if you are just screwing around, i've done it. if you are afraid of it breaking then just wrap the WHOLE thing in tape. even masking or painters tape would work if you put down a couple layers. what does that cost, $.08 per foot?
Oh, do keep up! This thread is nearly four years old!

(Oh, and when the thread was active, I *was* in Middle School... as a teacher. Things move on, I now teach in a high school. Science and "shop", if you care.)
This isn't eBay or Craigslist. This is "Instructables - Make, How To, and DIY"
Dude, go jump in a bunch of dung. You need to learn that some people care about doing thing right or "proper". SO stop shooting off your mouth, jerk
Would plywood work? That would be new to me if it doesn't break. And/Or splinter. Thanks for the info, I'll look at the hardware store for anything I can find suitable for my shotgun pump action crossbow. I was almost going to use PVC but I realized I'll have trouble screwing it in. And then I was a bit lost on what to do. Also can you recommend that I use a crossbow or a ballista? An answer would be appreciated.
plywood would not work, not because it is of cheap quality (I know the plywood in my brothers skateboards are much stronger than solid wood) but because plywood is laminated so that the grain of one layer does not align with the grain in adjacent layers.... so when some layers flexed the other layers would just snap.
Plywood certainly works for bows - the "proper" bows I've used all had plywood bodies, but the arms were painted, so I don't know what they were made of. If you're going for pump action, then you want a crossbow, since a ballista is just a huge crossbow for firing spear-sized bolts at fortifications.
Thax Kiteman6 years ago
Your "proper" bows are laminates of different layers of wood, but that's not the same as the cheap plywood construction materials at your local lumber yard. Trying to use those will only make you cry when the thing cracks in half when you try to put any strain on it.
Another thing you could do to protect yourself is to wrap the grip area (maybe even the entire bow for that matter!) with some kind of tape (I used duct and electrical tape), and to wear a glove or something. I found a nice, thick glove at Target near the camping area that works well! It also helps to keep the arrow from scraping your arm and hand when you let it go.
paulm Kiteman7 years ago
ouch. I have gotten splinters from a fiberglass arrow once, but they came out. would the pvc ones come out eventually? (sounds like my bamboo bow was a better media for a bow...)
yep ur right. Making it is much better. you get the right height and stuff. Anyways, PVC CANT SPRING OR BEND, so either way its sucky for a bow. BTW, broken fishing rods are good for junior robin hoods. nice n springy. recycled
hakforfun1 year ago
Whats the pull strength?
ck johnson2 years ago
Can u send me the material ?
Somehow I disagree with using elastic for the bow string. You see, the energy is stored in the bow and not in the string. The string, in my humble opinion should be made of some unstretchable material, so that all the energy storing and releasing is done by the PVC part of the bow. I see that the string is stretched to its maximum. So at this position we really cannot use the elastic properties of the string. So I don't really see the point in using elastic for the string.
Yes you are right as when the energy is stored in the bow the arrow will go farther
there is a variant of the bow were the bow is unyielding and only about as wide as the operators shoulders and is held with the feet while sitting on ones butt. The string is then elastic and pulled all the way back to ones chest (so at this point, ones shoulders and hips should be against the ground, with feet raised and out stretched.), and it is the strings stretchiness that propels the arrow.
kratosares2 years ago
I have confirmed the usefulness of PVC pipe schedule 40, by date, on making bows of different sizes and strength. and I must say too, that is will NOT be the same as a factory made bow, but as his "survivor counterpart" ...works wonders. for target practice, or hunting, you just have to switch arrows. and for worst or best... IT WORKS. 1/2 inch pipe has the strength of 25-30 pounds aprox. while 3/4 inch has 35-42 pounds. just imagine strength in 1 inch pipe... 50 + !!!!! Of course , nothing of this comes without a bit of extra work. you need a "jig", a heater gun, patience and experience through practice, to get some exquisites bows made out of plain pvc. the DO NOT SHATTER... THEY BEND. if you do a sloppy job. the one who teach me this can teach all of you... AND FOR FREE.Nicholas Tomihana is his name, and got his own channel on you tube, calle the Backyard Bowyer. I suggest all of you seek for this out of this world Yoda from Hawaii, and learn some new skills. receiver545, this is for you, and all the community of thinkers, that bow you made, even I feel proud for just seeing it, cause it tells me that you, as pretty much of this group love to do things by yourself. Some ignorants call us "freaks", "locos" crazies and so on... I prefer to call us "muties".. the evolution of next.... better than go shopping.. it is much better and self-satisfying to BUILD IT. Take care, and keep on.
kratosares3 years ago
Thinkers... do not underestimate the true power of PVC schedule 40. a friend of mine did a true research. All I can tell is that he is a little f$%#$ng GENIUS !!!! ( excuse my french ). The real trick with the PVC bow: you have to give it is bow form, by heating it. electric, gas stove works , but a heat gun works wonders. Any doubts, backyard bowyer on you tube, is the Neo on this matters. Please let me know, if it helps out this 3 cents comment. Great initiative on the bow making, receiver545.
Aron3133 years ago
Does it shoot bbs?
srsly its a bow dude not an airgun
haha i was looking at another instructable when i said that sorry.
cart5623 years ago
I don't think all of you that say it will splinter understand how good and strong PVC is. I have a 5' bow made with 3/"4 piece and most of a 1/2" piece inside and when I pull back the string it doesn't come anywhere near where it could possibly break.
pj813 years ago
If you really want to make a good pvc bow get 3/4 in pvc and stick 3 of those orange reflective fiberglass rods in it (I got some at Home Depot). I got the draw weight to 65 lbs, could go much higher with more fiberglass rods
ilpug5 years ago
 PVC is the worst material for bows because it shatters. i saw the air cannon next to your bed!
Plo Koon ilpug3 years ago
Does it really? PVC doesn't seem like it would shatter.
ilpug Plo Koon3 years ago
go get a piece of PVC and smash it with a big hammer. it will shatter into pieces if stressed enough. wear eye protection.
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